San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arias to Ask U.S. to Prioritize Poverty

Incoming President Oscar Arias said recently in an interview with Radio Monumental that he would ask the United States to avoid making the fight against terrorism “its only priority” and to designate more resources for reducing poverty.

Arias, a Nobel Peace Prize-winner who served as President from 1986-1990, said that when New York’s Twin Towers fell on Sept. 11, 2001, the United States declared a “war on terror,” and called it “the enemy of all humanity and a cowardly way to take innocent lives.”

However, Arias said the United States should invest more money in combating poverty, improving the environment and curing diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria, which are “more urgent and necessary issues.”

“Now I’m going to be able to raise my voice as the President of a country that … had the courage to abolish its army more than 50 years ago,” he said during the March 23 interview.

Arias takes office Monday.


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